Having a child on the autism spectrum brings unique challenges, including significant financial considerations. From specialised therapies and educational support to potential long-term care needs, the costs can quickly add up. 

Mark Blakey, a writer for Autism Parenting Magazine, explains the proactive planning methods that can empower families to navigate the unique financial challenges of autism with confidence and peace of mind. 

Budgeting For Ongoing Expenses

Blakey says, ‘One of the primary challenges for families with autism is the ongoing expenses associated with various therapies, interventions, and support services. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other specialised treatments can cost thousands of dollars per month.’

Families should carefully review their health insurance coverage and explore all available resources, including government programs and non-profit organisations that offer financial assistance.

Saving For Future Needs

Blakey advises, ‘In addition to current expenses, families must plan for their child’s future needs. Many individuals with autism require lifelong support, which can include residential care, vocational training, or assisted living arrangements.’

Establishing a dedicated savings plan, such as a special needs trust, can help families accumulate funds for these long-term costs while preserving their eligibility for government benefits.

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Accessing Resources And Tax Benefits

Families should educate themselves about the various resources and tax benefits available to them. Programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid can provide financial assistance and healthcare coverage. Additionally, certain expenses related to a child’s disability may be tax-deductible, offering some financial relief.

Estate Planning And Guardianship

As part of their long-term planning, families should consider estate planning and guardianship arrangements. This ensures that their child’s needs will be met and their assets will be managed appropriately if the parents become incapacitated or pass away.

Blakey says, ‘Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help families navigate the many legal complexities associated with estate planning and establish a comprehensive plan.’